In the past, Marvel Studios has done a great job at picking up directors from a relatively early stage in their careers. In doing so, they’ve managed to lock them down at a fairly cheap price to execute a vision they may already have in mind. However, in recent years, I’ve seen that strategy start to change slightly. They’ve given new directors a shot, but they even seem to be giving them a decent amount of creative control. Now, it seems possible they may be looking for more low-key directors further along in their career.
The director in question in High-Rise and Free Fire director Ben Wheatley. The man, best known for creating cynical and violent films, has apparently been picked up by the studio for an unknown project, as revealed by comedian Bob Mortimer on Adam Buxton’s podcast. The revelation came when discussing how one of his own projects was back-burnered in favor of the bigger Marvel one.
“We were about to start that but then Ben got offered one of the big Marvel films, so it weren’t for us to say ‘you ain’t doing that Ben.'”
This is a bit surprising to hear, as when I attended a special early screening for Free Fire last year, Wheatley didn’t seem to have any conviction that Marvel Studios would be tripping over themselves to hire him any time soon.
“They usually take people after two films,” Wheatley said at the screening. “And [Free Fire] is film six. So you can safely say they’ll not come f**king knocking on my door.”
That, coupled with his deeply cynical worldview seems like an odd fit. However, coupled with the right character, it could be an interesting combination that makes for a unique Marvel Studios film. Given how far along we are in this universe, we can use a little bit of unique.